Category Archives: Rentschler Library

Website is back up

As of Sat. Jan. 5th, the Rentschler Library website is back online for off-campus users. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Library website inaccessible from off-campus

404 messageYou may have noticed that the Rentschler Library website is inaccessible from off-campus locations. We apologize for the inconvenience. In the meantime, you can use the Oxford campus library website for most things, like searching for books, articles, and getting help. If you *just* want to search for books, you can use what’s called the “classic catalog.”  It doesn’t have as many bells and whistles, but you can still use it to request items from other campus libraries. IT staff on the regional campuses are dealing with some network server issues and hope to have a solution soon.

Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports logoAmidst all of the cool research databases offered by Miami University is Consumer Reports. (And you thought we just offered research databases for your coursework).  You can find extensive product reviews, articles, videos and timely advice about what products to get or avoid. Content published in the print version of Consumer Reports – like cover stories – is only available in MasterFILE Premier, one of our subscription databases of journal and magazine articles.


Need help with research?

Research road signIf you aren’t sure how to start a research project or just need a couple of more sources to flesh out your paper, librarians are here to help. You can schedule an appointment with us or stop by the front desk in the library. We can walk you through how to find books, articles, good websites, and more. For quick questions, you can always email us or send us an instant message. Best of luck with your projects or papers the rest of the semester.

Banned or challenged book: Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison

Book cover of Invisible Man by Ralph EllisonToday’s blog post features a frequently banned or challenged book that is, not coincidentally, also a classic in African-American fiction. The nameless narrator of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible man “describes growing up in a black community in the South, attending a Negro college from which he is expelled, moving to New York and becoming the chief spokesman of the Harlem branch of “the Brotherhood”, and retreating amid violence and confusion to the basement lair of the Invisible Man he imagines himself to be. The book is a passionate and witty tour de force of style, strongly influenced by T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, Joyce, and Dostoevsky.” (Source: PenguinRandomHouse)

Retained in the Yakima, WA schools (1994) after a five-month dispute over what advanced high school students should read in the classroom. Two parents raised concerns about profanity and images of violence and sexuality in the book and requested that it be removed from the reading list. (source: ALA)

Banned or challenged book: To Kill a Mockingbird

book cover of To Kill a MockingbirdToday’s featured banned or challenged book is Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “To Kill a Mockingbird.” This one has a long history of challenges since its publication in 1961 and is still on the list of Top 10 Most Challenged Books for 2017.

It was most recently removed in 2009 from a school in Ontario, Canada because a parent objected to its use of the N-word. Other challenges were based on its profanity and because it ‘conflicted with the values of the community.” (Source: ALA)

The story takes place in a small Alabama town in the 1930s and is told predominately from the point of view of six-to-nine-year-old Jean Louise (“Scout”) Finch. She is the daughter of Atticus Finch, a white lawyer hired to defend Tom Robinson, a black man falsely accused of raping a white woman. A coming-of-age story of an intelligent, unconventional girl, To Kill a Mockingbird portrays Scout’s growing awareness of the hypocrisy and prejudice present in the adult world. (Source: Britannica)


Banned or challenged book: Drama by Raina Telgemeir

book cover of Drama by TelegemeirDrama, by Raina Telgemeier is a graphic novel and is currently on the Top 10 list of the most challenged books for 2017.  It was banned from the Franklin Educational District (Texas) in 2017. Why? This Stonewall Award winning 2012 graphic novel includes LGBT characters and was considered confusing. (Source: ALA)

Summary from Goodreads: “Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school’s production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can’t really sing. Instead she’s the set designer for the drama department stage crew, and this year she’s determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn’t know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier!”